Mike Tyson, 54, has never voted before. He’s changing that this election year.
“This will be my 1st time voting,” Tyson said in a tweet Tuesday. “I never thought I could because of my felony record. I’m proud to finally vote.”
He shared the news with his followers along with a link to register to vote and the hashtag #NationalVoterRegistrationDay.
The legendary boxer was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison on one count of rape and two counts of deviant sexual conduct in 1992. He was released from prison after serving three years.
The conviction stripped Tyson of his right to vote.
Many state laws throughout the US rule felons ineligible to vote. More than 6 million Americans – about 2.5% of the nation’s voting-age population – could not vote in the 2016 election due to felony records, according to an estimate by The Sentencing Project, a research group that advocates for improvements to the criminal justice system.
There has been a growing movement toward restoring convicted felons the right to vote on a state-by-state basis in the last few decades, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Tyson’s home state of Nevada signed a law to restore voting rights to all persons convicted of felony upon release from prison in 2019, which will allow him to participate in this year’s election.